I am at an airport compromising my right to privacy as I submit to a shoe search, an x-ray, a pat down.
I am willing to submit to the inconvenience and invasion of privacy that I might be safe.
Ultimately, I am allowed to proceed, but my four-ounce bottle of water is not.
I am attending a public meeting.
No one seems concerned that I carry a machine gun concealed in my coat pocket.
The crowd around me assumes that I am a sane, responsible citizen, but they cannot know that for sure.
Of course, the bottle of water is not a threat for what it is, but rather for what it might be.
The potential threat is the concern.
The gun I have in my pocket is a potential threat not for what it might be, but rather, for what it is.
Laws are passed and tax money is spent to protect me from a terrorist or crazed citizen should I enter a public airplane.
But what if I attend a public meeting? What then? Which holds the greater potential threat, the four- ounce bottle of water or the machine gun?